SAD...OH, SO SAD!
Back in the mid-late 1970's, when I was a young Jaycee, the club used to offer the local quarterly "fine arts series", featuring stars of the old, Charlotte, N.C. based, Jim Crockett, Jr.'s NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) franchise. These events were held at the high school football field, no matter the weather. They were usually scheduled around the first of the month to coincide with the government checks. Ensured a large gate. My task at these functions was to meet and greet the wrestlers and keep them company until it was their time to perform...and I was told by them it was a performance, but an athletic one. I surmised as much when I saw sworn enemies using the same dressing room and engaged in friendly conversations.
Back in those days the wrestlers traveled by car, but Big Cars. I fondly remember sitting in those cars or vans talking with the wrestlers. I met The Nature Boy, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, and Black Jack Mulligan, among others. Those guys went out there and put on a show. They rastled, not talked. The shows started on time and ended exactly on time. What choreography. The locals got their money's worth. Those were the days.
Now the WWE is big business. Cable TV. Pay-for-View mega events. More talk than wrestling. More plots than the soap operas. More skin than vintage editions of Playboy (but not Penthouse). More gratuitous violence than gang warfare. I have completely lost interest. It's painful to imagine men my age up there in the ring trying to strut their stuff. Even the once-great Nature Boy (Picture credit: Scott Pon) is trying to hold on. But now, when I happen upon the WWE and see Ric Flair, the sight I behold is an out-of-shape older man who "whoops" and talks a lot, "styles and profiles", but wrestles very little and very ineffectively. SAD!
The only good thing to come out of the WWE lately is the comely Stacy Keibler, who performed so well on "Dancing with the Stars". What looks. What dancing talent. What legs. She was robbed. I did not even know she had been in the WWE's stable. I never saw her there. If I had, you better believe I would have remembered. I'm not that old, yet.
Much the same can be said about another great Southern institution that has gone big time and outgrown its pants, NASCAR. While abandoning its Southern heritage in the search of the almighty dollar, it has lost its soul. Smaller Southern tracks, the birth place of stock car racing, with proud histories have been left in favor of larger cookie-cutter speedways near large metropolitan centers. Real racing personalities have been replaced by bland "young guns" whom are hard to differentiate. Skillful, although sometimes aggressive, driving used to win a race. Now it earns a trip to the "penalty box" on pit row and later a meeting in the Chairman's office, coupled with a fine. Again, I have pretty much lost interest. I'm just glad that the late, great Intimidator, Dale Earnhardt, is not witness to any of this. SAD!